My favorite item at Romano’s Macaroni Grill was their Rosemary Bread. Dipping the warm Rosemary Bread into their peppered olive oil seemed to be more than a girl could ever ask for. It was like an entire Christmas season wrapped up into one piece of bread.
Much to my sadness, this restaurant has closed their doors here in Minnesota. Besides leaving me horribly depressed, it has also left me with a terrible craving for Rosemary Bread. This recipe for Rosemary Bread however, dare I say it, might even be better than the one from the famous restaurant (gasp)! It has certainly satisfied my taste buds!
Give it a try and you can be the judge!
I must admit that making bread use to scare the bajeebies out of me. The yeast part really intimidated me. As a side note, if you share in this fear of yeast as well, check out my Beer Bread Recipe. There is no yeast in this recipe and is a great bread to start on if you have never made bread before.
Anyway, thanks to my fabulous cousin Karen, and her one day crash course on making bread, I have now overcome my fear. Bread making for me has almost become an addiction. There is something truly zen about making bread. Not sure what it is, but just the smell alone brings back all sort of wonderful calming memories of how my Grandma’s house use to smell whenever she made a batch of bread.
Ok, time to re-focus, Rosemary Bread….let’s get to work!
Ingredients for this bread include yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, dried rosemary, salt (Kosher and table salt), flour, and pepper.
First, combine the yeast, sugar and 1/14 cup of warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
After 5 minutes, your yeast, sugar, and water mixture should look similar to this. You should be able to see bubbles around the edges and it should have an overall foamy look to it.
In the same bowl as your yeast mixture, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, fine salt, pepper, 3/4 cups warm water and all of the flour..
Mix with a large spoon stir until dough forms.
Next, lightly flour your work surface (and your hands) and work the dough by hand for 5-7 minutes. If the dough gets a little sticky during the kneading process (the first 30 seconds is the worst), simply give the dough and work surface another light dusting of flour until it is no longer sticky.
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, you may also use that instead of kneading by hand. Simply work dough for 8-10 minutes on medium-high speed. If the dough starts to stick to the sides, add a light dusting of flour until it no longer sticks.
When you are done kneading the dough, add the dough to a clean bowl that has been coated with olive oil on the inside and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to sit for 1- 2 hours in a warm (but not hot) location. I know that this is a large span of time, but the temperature of your kitchen will dictate how long this process will take. The goal is for the dough to double in size, so you want to use that as your benchmark more than the length of time that it takes.
Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. There is an option here to make 4 smaller loaves instead of two if you like, **see note below for more details.
Knead each section for an additional 1-2 minutes and placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Let the dough rest uncovered for 1-2 hours. Try to leave enough space between them so that they do not touch as they rise (unlike this picture.) Again, you want the dough to double in size so use that as your benchmark more than the length of time that it takes to accomplish this.
Once the dough has doubled, bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Then, remove them from the oven and brush each loaf with a light layer of olive oil. On top of the olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and rosemary.
Place the bread back in the oven and continue to bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool slightly. Serve warm with a side dish of olive oil with fresh ground pepper.
**Side Note: I typically divide this recipe into two loaves to feed my family of four. If you are cooking for a smaller number of people however, the dough can be divided into four equal loaves as well. Complete the recipe in the same way, just decrease your bake time by a few minutes.
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or one packet)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup warm water (divided)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and coating bowl
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary (divided)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon fine (table) salt
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Combine yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1½ tablespoons rosemary, fine (table) salt, pepper, ¾ cups warm water and flour to the same bowl. Mix with a large spoon until dough forms.
- Add dough to a lightly floured surface and work by hand for 5-7 minutes or until dough is elastic and smooth. You can also use a stand mixer for this step. Simply work dough on medium-high speed with a dough hook for 8-10 minutes.
- Coat the inside of a clean large bowl with olive oil. Add your dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Once dough has doubled, place on a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Work each half for another 1-2 minutes and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Let dough sit uncovered, for another 1-2 hours, or until double in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove bread from oven and coat with a light layer of olive oil. Then sprinkle kosher salt and rosemary on top.
- Return to the oven and bake an additional 10-12 minutes.
- Let cool slightly. Serve warm with a side of olive oil with crushed black pepper.